Extra Reading for related podcast topic:

How to shut down the illicit ginkgo trade

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , 26-Apr-2016

Research into the adulteration and poor manufacturing practices of ginkgo products has highlighted the need to reign in unregistered food supplements containing the botanical. 

In this episode we discussed how hard it is to know what is in your supplements. Even when able to read the label it is hard to know the quality of the extracts for the consumer. This article highlights the challenges and shows how formulators and manufacturers of supplements can be tricked into buying inferior material as the manufacturers of the extracts can spike up a product with markers to get the technical specification to look like the right stuff at excellent quality by adding the tested standardised material from other plants or synthetically made. Unless companies are testing and investigating the source of the raw materials or are directly involved in the farming and processing then they may never know if they are buying fraudulent material. Gingko was always an expensive herb to purchase and you often get what you pay for. We have reasons to be sceptical of natural medicine supplements but over-regulating by insisting on standardized extracts may not solve this problem and could make it worse.